Katrina is one of those once-in-a-lifetime people that you don't ever think will be gone.
Katrina Galbraith Lawrence gave birth to her son Jet Li Monday afternoon. He will never get the chance to know his mother. Now the family is trying to process the thought of an active, joyful 36-year-old woman giving birth to a child and then passing away. She leaves behind a loving husband and six beautiful children.
"We have a brand new baby. I'm going to miss her so much," said her husband, Justus Lawrence, 35.
Holding his 11-year-old daughter Maya close and choking back tears, Lawrence said his wife was everyone's friend and an incredible woman of faith.
"Strong. Solid. Amazing example to me," Lawrence said. "I hope I can live up to her expectations."
Katrina's family said she began to experience complications associated with placenta previa and accreta when she was five months pregnant. This is a condition where the placenta attaches itself to the uterus or other organs and can cause hemorrhaging.
"There's a risk of the placenta growing into the uterus and not detaching normally during the time of delivery," said Dr. Glenn Schemmer, a perinatologist at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center.
Schemmer said women who have had multiple C-sections are at higher risk for placenta previa and accreta. All of Katrina's previous births had been delivered by C-sections.
Her husband said she seemed to be in good health and was even exercising up until she was seven months pregnant. But about a month ago, Katrina's condition became more serious. Her doctors began monitoring her full time in the hospital.
Katrina was due to deliver her son June 15, but was put on bed rest at the hospital. Once the family learned that the baby was healthy enough to be delivered, they marked their calendars and anxiously awaited May 6th. But around 2:30 p.m. Monday she began hemorrhaging and was rushed into surgery. Her family thought she would be fine because, at one point, she had a team of specialists in the operating room. That team of doctors gave Katrina‘s father comfort and hope.
"He says, ‘I've never, in all (my) deliveries, have seen a set of surgeons and specialists work as hard as they have on your daughter,' " said Gordon Galbraith, Katrina's father. "They didn't want to lose the fight."
During surgery doctors worked to revive Katrina several times, but they couldn't save her life.
"The doctor said usually there is some sign," said Celeste Galbraith, her mother. "But this one, everything was going well, but her heart just stopped."
Katrina's children have fond memories of their mother. As the only girl among brothers, Maya, 11, said she'll remember the times her mother would paint her toenails and the moment she knew she'd never see her mother again at the hospital. "I closed my eyes and I heard her say to me, ‘Bye Maya. I love you."
Te, 12, will cherish the times his mother would support him during his sports activities. "She would always be the one cheering me in the crowd and always be the one to say, ‘Good job!'"
Her oldest son, Kai, 14, described his mother as "an angel, a gift and a blessing."
"This morning, I could like almost see her just smiling in front of me," said Kai, 14. He made her a promise and plans to step up as the big brother in the family.
"I promised her that I would take care of her child," Kai said.
The family's Latter-day Saint faith is helping them cope with their loss. They believe they'll see her again.
"She's in a better place," Justus Lawrence said.
Her family believes Katrina has a greater mission in another realm.
"My sister-in-law said, ‘Katrina has so much goodness in her heart that this world cannot hold her,' " said Celeste Galbraith.
It's no doubt that Katrina was an absolute spark in this world. She has affected hundreds of people with her generosity and kindness. Her devotion to her children was inspiring and she lived life to the fullest. The sadness over losing such an incredible woman will have a ripple effect that will be felt for quite some time.